News Alerts

13 Sep 2019 | 03:05 AM UTC

Indonesia: Forest fires continue to spread as of September 12 /update 1

Indonesia News Alert

Independent observers record a significant increase in hot spots in Borneo and Sumatra on September 12 as forest fires continue to spread

TIMEFRAME expected from 9/13/2019, 12:00 AM until 9/20/2019, 11:59 PM (Asia/Jakarta). COUNTRY/REGION Indonesia, Riau province, Jambi

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Illegal forest fires continue to spread across at least six provinces in Indonesia as of Thursday, September 12. The Singapore-based Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre reported a significant jump in hot spots in Borneo and Sumatra from 861 to 1619 in a 24-hour period on Wednesday, September 11. According to government statistics, fires have burned 328,722 hectares (812,289 acres) of land this year. Over 9000 security and emergency personnel, as well as water-bombing helicopters, have been deployed to contain and prevent the blazes.

The fires continue to cause an increase in haze and air pollution, particularly in Sumatra, Borneo, and West Kalimantan, Jambi, and Riau provinces. Schools have been closed in some regions as air quality readings reached hazardous levels, with some locations recording an Air Pollution Index (API) as high as 367. In Jambi province, students protested outside of the local parliament building on Thursday, demanding the government increase efforts to combat the fires and smog. Further demonstrations and smog-related disruptions are possible in the coming days and weeks.


Indonesia frequently experiences air pollution (haze) caused by forest fires between June to October. An API reading of 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 moderate, and 101-200 unhealthy.


Individuals present in Indonesia are advised to monitor Air Pollutant Index Management System (APIMS) updates and health advisories issued by the Indonesian Department of Environment. Seek medical assistance if needed and anticipate possible transportation disruptions.


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